I have a client that recently opened a new store selling a variety of outdoor and garden goods and I was asked to make some little garden signs with different sayings on them. I’m using Cypress wood for the durability and each sign is to have the saying painted then finished with Spar-Varnish.The woodwork was no problem but how to go about painting the words was the million dollar challenge. She ordered 2 dozen of each sign. I tried stencils but could not get a good enough variety of fonts. I looked at getting some stamps made but the cost for even a simple stamp would not have been cost effective and I really didn’t have the time to wait for custom stamps. After thinking about it for awhile I figured that is should be possible to make my own custom stamps using stuff that I had in the shop. After a little R&D this is what I came up with. I started by using Microsoft Office Word to get the font and size plus the “No ” emblem and printed it out to the right size,then using a glue stick glued it to the 1/4” backer also cut to the right size.
The next step is to cut a piece of 1/2” rigid foam insulation board and glue this to the backer board using CA glue.
I scrolled the letters of the sign with a 2/0 crown tooth blade and set them aside. I now glue a second backer to the first backer to strengthen the original letter orientation from the first backer.
I cut off the excess foam board from the backers and glue the letters back in their respective positions.
I now build up the sides with scrap wood to fit the size of the sign blanks. I use enamel craft paints and a piece of foam brush and dab it on the stamp letters, then press it onto the wood blanks which fit precisely into the stamp.
It may be necessary to touch up a little but overall this works pretty good.
This is the first batch of garden signs ready to go.
Here are a few more of the garden signs that I’ve been making using my custom scrolled stamps technique. Having to make 2 dozen of each pattern has been challenging but now that I’ve got the system down to a science it is going quite well. My client is happy with the signs and seems to be selling quite a few in her shop.
-- Mike --www.midlothianwoodworks.com